Monday, July 29, 2013

One of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World!

This trip was certainly amazing!  We'd even be visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!  Although before we'd get there, our next stop was St John’s Basilica. This is set high on a hill with a fortress in the background.





The Apostle, St John is buried beneath the Basilica.







Yelda told us that when the Basilica was built, parts of the Temple of Artemis were used. The Temple was a Pagan building so there was no consideration that they were using pieces of such a magnificent structure. Same thing happened when a nearby Mosque was built. More of the Temple of Artemis was torn down and used.  And that is the main reason why only one pillar remains of this Ancient Wonder!  

After our time at the Basilica we made a quick stop at what is left of the Temple of Artemis. This was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!



You can tell by the size of the remaining column just how huge it must have been! The temple was built for the first time in 800 BC! Can you imagine?



It was destroyed and rebuilt 3 times after that and before it’s final destruction in 401 AD. In comparison to the Parthenon in Athens, this temple was 425 long and 225 wide with 127 columns that were 60 feet high. The Parthenon is 230 feet long, 100 feet wide and had 58 columns. Now, having just been to the Parthenon and been incredibly impressed, it was hard to imagine just how BIG this temple must have been and how incredible it was!



Here you can see the remains of the Temple, the mosque, the Basilica of St John, and the Fortress all together! 



I just had to include this dog! I like to call him the "crocodile dog"! He was just peeking out enjoying himself there in the marsh.

We left here and made our way back to port.




Once we parted ways with Yelda and thanked her for a fantastic day, we decided that we wanted to check out the Bazaar area. First mission was to try some Turkish Ice Cream! Now, this definitely was not gelato! The consistency was sort of sticky, but the flavor was good! And of course when they serve it to you they like to play around with switching the cones and flipping the ice cream around. Megan definitely got a kick out of that!



I shopped for my magnet. We were told by Yelda that Turkey is known for bargaining when shopping – now I’m sure that’s not true for a 3 Euro magnet! But for higher priced items maybe. She said that the vendors are expecting to bargain with you for everything. The shopkeepers were fairly aggressive here, but they were also very friendly.

I wanted to get one of the evil eye bracelets or key chains, but couldn’t really find one I liked. At one store I picked up a key chain that you could have your name written on - I liked it, but wasn’t going to buy it. I picked something else out instead. While I was talking to the shopkeeper’s assistant – making small talk, he asked me Megan’s name. Apparently the owner had taken the keychain I had originally looked at and asked for Megan’s name and made it for her while I was talking. He gave it to me at no extra charge. He was very proud of the work he made at the store. There was a lot of hand crafted art work there and he told me that he took the store over from his father and was happy to give me the 2nd key chain. That was really nice of him!





Alex and I hung back while everyone else went back to the ship. We bought some gifts for a friend of his and enjoyed some time together. His mood had greatly improved and would remain this way the remainder of our trip. 

Overall Turkey was nothing like I had expected. I think we all felt this way! I had seen some pictures of Ephesus, but I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful everywhere we went today was. It’s a very clean area and there is so much open space. It’s a huge contrast to our day in Athens yesterday! I’m not saying that Athens is dirty- but it’s a huge city. Much different from today.

Once back on the ship, it was pretty much the same as in the past. Today was Keith an I's 21st anniversary!  But we didn’t get to do much to celebrate - other than spend the day in an amazing country!  No special dinner though... But tomorrow Keith and I are going to Portofino’s. Date night! We weren’t able to go tonight because it’s the Murder Mystery Dinner and there were no private reservations available. We did enjoy dinner in the MDR again though, no complaints! The Navigator feels like home to us by now, we’ve settled in nicely!


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